Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Governor Bouck on Coney Island

The Governor's Excursion.
This morning Governor Bouck, accompanied by his aids Cols. Hamilton and Brown, and escorted by the Mayor, members of the Common Council, judges of the Courts, and a goodly sprinkle of citizens, started on an excursion to Fort Hamilton and Coney Island. After visiting the fort, and examining its battlements and fixtures, the party will proceed to Coney Island, long famous in history for the excellence of its shell-fish, and destined to stand out prominently hereafter as one of the few places where clams an be obtained in perfection. Here the company will dine; but as dinner was bespoken for only twenty, we can imagine the surprise and lamentation of "mine host" when he observes seventeen carriage loads of hungry gentlemen coming straight down upon him, with appetites sharpened by the refreshing seabreeze, and curiosity excited by the reputation of his house. Still, we do not anticipate either a famine or a fast.

Before returning to the city, the party will visit the Greenwood Cemetery--which the Governor is very anxious to see; and also the residence of Mr. Senator Lott, at Flatbush, where His Excellency will have an opportunity of gazing upon the trim Dutch girls that flourish in that ancient and peaceful community.

--Brooklyn Eagle, Tuesday, July 18, 1843

Green-Wood cemetery in New York was "founded in 1838 as one of America's first rural cemeteries." Evidently it was very beautiful back then. Judging from these photos, I think it still is, even though the city has grown up around it.

In the article from the following date, the newspaper narrated Governor Bouck's actual adventures, "inasmuch as the Governor stated, in substance, that it was about the happiest day of his life (always excepting, of course, the day upon which he got married)". He started with the pleasant cemetery, then Fort Hamilton, where a lot of ladies were present....

Here the Governor (who is empathetically a lady's man) was greeted by another collection of the fair, and after passing a few compliments (which he is able to do either in Dutch or English) the carriages were brought up and the cavalcade moved on to Bath...

The next stopping place was Coney Island, which, as every body knows, is ruled by Governor Gil Davis. Governor Gil, by the way, has been duly notified of the contemplated irruption by Governor Bouck and his followers, and conjured by the blood of his ancestors, the richness of his wines, and the exceeding redness of his nose, to protect his dominions. But he did not see fit to answer the summons--probably not having received a "nod" from the "Grand Krout." Of course the invaders obtained full possession ; but, with a magnamity unparalleled in modern warfare, they generously relinquished the island to "Gil.'s" representative after satisfying their appetites upon the quahaugs, lobsters, and other articles of rare excellence that vegetate [?] in those diggings. It is proper to add that all this was done with the aid and abatement of one Cropsey, with whose fame the world is filled...

--Brooklyn Eagle, Wednesday, July 19, 1843

You can read a summary of Governor Bouck's life at the New York Times. Interesting, the article notes he was inaugurated as governor January 1, 1843, and that he "had no pleasant time" while in office!

As for Governor Gil, check back next time for him!

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